"Hold on!" yelled Dwight, "I'll be right there!" Dwight's hiking buddies were honking outside his house, ready to go. Dwight ran over his checklist one last time to make sure his backpack was set and ready to go. The last thing Dwight wanted was to forget something for his week-long hiking trip. As soon as he had finished his final check, he swung his pack over his shoulder and ran out the door. "It's about time, Ernie, we're all waiting on you!"
Dwight and his crew all had nicknames for each other. Dwight's was Ernie because he wasn't in the best of shape, and after a long hike, he would start wheezing in a manner that was strikingly similar to Ernie's laugh from Sesame Street. The other members of the foursome were Billy (Goat), Francis (Smells), and Bernadette (Hairy).
The trek to the Mountains of Namnama was about a day's drive from their hometown of Paniqui. Their plan was to drive to the base and sleep in the parking lot, allowing them to get started on their trek early the next morning. After a few hours on the road, they decided to stop and grab a bite to eat. Dwight didn't hesitate before voicing that they should find a taco shack, and grab some burritos and cantelope.
"You always want burritos, Ernie," sighed Hairy. "Yeah, but you guys never agree with me on that, and so we never get to. If you think about it, when was the last time we got Mexican food?" "Try last Tuesday," quirped Goat. "Well, when was the last time before that?" "The day before!!!" chimed the other three. "Come on guys," pleaded Ernie, "I really could go for a burrito, plus cantelope is in season this time of year."
"All right, Ernie, if we go here for lunch, I don't want to hear about burritos for a month," conceded Smells. "Plus, you know what happens when I eat to many burritos."
After they had their fill of burritos and cantelope, they were back on their way. It wasn't too long before Smells started shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "I knew you should have stopped at three burritos, Smells," Hairy sighed. "It's getting a little to musky in here for my liking."
"At least I only have to shave once a day!" sneered Smells. Everyone laughed as they noticed that Bernadette's five-o'clock-shadow was already filling in nice and thick, and it was barely passed mid-day. "It's not my fault I have a high testosterone level!" Hairy replied angrily. An awkward silence followed, as they drove in silence for the next few hours.
Dusk was approaching as they drove on. They were still about 120 kilometers from their destination when they saw the city lights of Suso, the last town they could get food and fuel at before they reached the Mountains of Namnama. Dwight asked, "Think we should stop for fuel and some grinders?"
They all agreed they could use some leg stretching and fresh air - they could only take so much of Smells's digestion issues. As they pulled into town, they saw a gas station with a mini-mart. As they pulled up to the gas pump, Dwight mumbled "I wonder if they have any burritos here....." They all chuckled as Goat turned off the engine.
END OF CHAPTER ONE